The Voice of San Diego profiled Awaken, a local evangelical church that has become a center for right-wing political organizing. CRCC’s Richard Flory provided context for conservative political activism of evangelical churches.
Read an excerpt of the story:
“They believe they are in battle, that cultural elites don’t like them, and are trying to put them out of business and trying to belittle their beliefs,” he [Flory] said.
But despite their historical conservatism, and the precedent for political organizing, evangelicals didn’t usually combine the political and the spiritual quite as overtly as Matthesius does in his sermons, Flory said. Based on the typology of strains of U.S. evangelicalism that Flory and his colleagues constructed for the 2018 midterm election, and later updated for the 2020 election, he said he’d largely classify Awaken as “Trumpvangelicals.”
Flory posited that Awaken’s separation in 2020 from the larger C3 network gave the church the opportunity to increasingly blend this conspiracy thinking into its sermons.
“You’re going to start seeing with these kinds of charismatic leaders that don’t have any controls outside of themselves, and the boards that they put together, and the pastoral staff that they put together a broader range of theology that may or may not be Christian,” Flory said.